Absolutely nothing to write home about

That´s the RGDP which has been revised up to an “eye-popping” 3.6% annual rate.

This is Neil Irwin:

At the same time, overall growth has remained tame once inventory effects are taken out, and we’ve seen enough false starts and moments of unjustified optimism during this long, slow recovery that policymakers, particularly those at the Federal Reserve, may want more overwhelming evidence that things are picking up before taking it for granted that above-trend growth has finally arrived.

Which brings us to the November jobs report, due out Friday morning at 8:30. Yes, it’s worth mentioning all the usual caveats about not putting too much faith in any one data point, the large margin of error in the survey, the revisions that could ultimately make the initial reading meaningless.

All that’s true, but you go to battle (or in this case, set monetary policy) based on the data you have, not on the data you might wish to have. So the Friday jobs numbers, which analysts expect will show 185,000 net jobs added in November, are the single most important data point in determining whether the Fed begins slowing its monthly bond purchases at its Dec. 17-18 policy meeting. And for the rest of us, it will be the best indicator of whether this recovery is starting to take off, or whether the long slog continues apace.

The employment/unemployment numbers are lagging variables, so I doubt they will be the best indicator of a recovery taking off.

The charts show that the recovery that began four and a half years ago petered out pretty fast! You could even argue that, despite (some) efforts, it´s now ‘backtracking!

Nothing to write home_1

Nothing to write home_2

James Pethokoukis has a take:

Interesting to me was the big difference between gross domestic product and its flipside, gross domestic income, which rose just 1.4%. The Philly Fed now releases a blending of the two measure that it feels is a better, less volatile gauge on economic growth. The GDPplus measure out today was up 1.96% vs. 2.87% in 2Q, 2.71% in 1Q, and 3.37% in 4Q 2012. So over the past year, GDPplus has risen about 2.7%, a bit better than the overall postrecession GDPplus averge of 2.5%. (Recall, by the way, that in August of 2009, the White House predicted that GDP would rise 4.3% in 2011, followed by 4.3% growth in 2012 and 2013, too. And 2014? Another year of 4.0% growth.) Many Wall Streeters are forecasting a pick up next year.

On GDP plus, see here.

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